172037 Responding to Diversity: An Inclusive Health Promotion Technology Innovation

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:30 PM

Elizabeth DePoy, PhD , Evaluation Practice and ASTOS, Newburgh, ME
Stephen Gilson, PhD , Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Robert Kitchin, MSW , Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, Orono, ME
In concert with the conference theme, “Public Health Without Borders” we discuss, illustrate, and critically evaluate an innovative web-based portal designed to expand full access to health promotion education, knowledge, and communication globally. The 21st century is characterized by the omnipotence of technology in all aspects of personal and community living across the globe. And while technology has great promise for eliminating disparities to critically needed health promotion knowledge and education, the challenge of equal access to electronic communication remains vexing, particularly for populations who access computers atypically or have limited literacy. To meet the challenge of eliminating disparities in access to electronic health promotion communication, knowledge, and education, we developed and are currently evaluating the usability and learning outcomes derived from the use of a universally designed, innovative, web-based, interface, software portal. This portal builds on rather than duplicates existing health education efforts by creating a website interface that converts existing websites into alternative English literacy and accessible formats that can be further translated by existing language translation websites and screen readers. Rather than expecting individual sites to provide these features, the portal houses them server-side so that its translation options can be accessed, invoked and controlled by any user from any computer with Internet access across the globe. We present the prototype, its application to tobacco prevention education, the comprehensive usability evaluation results, and plans for future expansion of this innovative technology to the full range of electronic health promotion communication, education, and knowledge.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the limitations of current electronic health promotion and education approaches Describe disparities in access to electronic health promotion and education; List ways to critically evaluate how innovative technology can be developed and used to eliminate disparities to this critically important health promotion and education resource

Keywords: Technology, Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am collaborating on this project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.